Becoming a new mother is an amazing experience. It’s even better when you have help from your spouse, your own mother and even your mother in law, that is if it’s asked for. Lately, I’ve read about lots of new mothers who haven’t been able to talk with their own moms or mother in laws about healthy boundaries. So how does one make healthy boundaries with their own moms and mother in laws?
Be Honest and Thankful
Firstly be happy that you have people who want to help you. Be honest with them and let them know you appreciate their efforts, but that you also want to establish yourself as a mother and find yourself, which means you need to bond with your child. If you want to change that diaper or feed your little one, you have first dibs because you are Mom, not your mother or mother in law. They are relatives and will have their time with your child.
Have a Schedule
This means you have to communicate with your mother and mother in law about what times are best for them to come over if you want them to. If you don’t want them over for more than one day for an entire month, you have the right to set that, because you are Mom. Your house, your child, your boundaries, your rules. If you want a date night every Friday night you can say that Friday nights are best for them to come over to spend time with your child. It’s up to you, within reason.
Sometimes mothers or mother in laws can be overbearing and might not get the subtle hints of your appreciation but let them know you want certain time with your kid first. This is where you would have to be blunter and really come to a compromise so you are happy but they also are happy because they will be involved in some way at some point. If you want them over once a month but they want every week, you can compromise on every other week.
Now, not all parents are role models, and if your mother or your spouses mother is unhealthy in any way, like being an addict, that would mean you need to make sure you keep a safe environment and you might just have to say to that person that until they get clean, or can keep their word and be trustworthy that they shouldn’t come over. It may sound harsh but when it comes to the safety of your family (you, your child, your spouse, and pets) nothing else matters and safety should be priority number one and strict harsh boundaries may need to be put in place. Now if the unhealthy individual is your own mother, then it is your job to address that. If the mother in law is unhealthy then it’s your spouse’s job to address that.